Across the US and the world, a range of punitive, adversarial, counterproductive interventions are being imposed on our most vulnerable youth. From corporal punishment, restraints, locked-door seclusions, to sending students to the police and the courts for minor infractions, it's the behaviorally challenging kids who are often on the receiving end of the worst our society has to offer. Here are the data for America public schools from 2013-2014 (the most recent time span for which these data are available):
- 5.4 million in- or out-of-school suspensions
- 120,000 expulsions
- 291,000 referrals to law enforcement
- 80,000 arrests at school
- 106,000 uses of corporal punishment
- 122,000 uses of restraints and seclusions
Our documentary film, The Kids We Lose, is aimed at heightening awareness of these counterproductive practices and instigating movement toward interventions that are non-punitive, non-adversarial, and effective. It received the Best Feature Documentary Award in its premiere at the 2018 New Hampshire Film Festival and has since won Best Feature Documentary awards at the 2019 Los Angeles Women's International Film Festival, the 2019 Women's Film Festival in Philadelphia, and the 2019 Whistleblower Film Festival in Washington, DC. It has also screened on Maine Public Television and Vermont Public Television (you can find screening dates and times -- along with more information about the film and those involved in its creation and production -- by clicking here). And if you'd like to read a review of the film from the Portland Press Herald, click here.
Lives in the Balance recently hosted a free online screening of The Kids We Lose and an online discussion afterward. If you missed the film we'll let you know -- right here -- when it's in distribution. If you missed the discussion you can listen to it here.
If you'd like to get involved, heighten awareness, advocate for change, and support the effort, become Lives in the Balance Advocator! And to access free resources on reducing restraint and seclusion in schools, visit truecrisisprevention.org.